Kentucky Marijuana Laws

Kentucky has a long history with hemp, and residents may purchase and possess hemp-derived CBD containing no more than 0.3% THC. With no medical marijuana program in place, all cannabis use remains illegal.

Kentucky marijuana laws
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LAW BREAKDOWN

LAW BREAKDOWNS

Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State, but with its status as a leader in arrest rates for marijuana, it might be more accurately referred to as the Grass state. Marijuana is banned for any use in KY, although CBD products can be purchased over the counter.

Possession

Possession of less than 8 ounces of cannabis for personal use is a misdemeanor in Kentucky, punishable by up to 45 days in jail and $250 in fines. Possession of larger amounts, even for personal use, is treated as felony sale or trafficking.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Less than 8 oz Misdemeanor 45 days $ 250

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Sale or Trafficking

Sale or trafficking of small amounts of marijuana, less than 8 ounces, is a misdemeanor on a first offense, and the top penalty is 1 year in jail and $500 in fines. For a subsequent offense, sale or trafficking of less than 8 ounces is a felony punishable by between 1 year in jail and 5 years in prison, plus $10,000.

Sale or trafficking of greater amounts is a felony. If the weight is between 8 ounces and 5 pounds, the penalty for a first offense is between 1 year in jail and 5 years in prison, along with up to $10,000 in fines. On a subsequent offense, sale or trafficking of the same amount carries a sentence of at least 5 years in prison and as many as 10, as well as a $10,000 fine.

If the weight is greater than 5 pounds, first-time offenders face a penalty of between 5 and 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. On a subsequent conviction, the same offense is punishable between 10 and 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Sale of marijuana to a minor is also a felony, punishable by between 5 and 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on a first offense. A subsequent conviction brings a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a top $10,000 fine. Finally, sale or trafficking within 1,000 yards of a school or park is a felony with a penalty of 1 year in jail to 5 years in prison, plus $10,000 in fines.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Less than 8 oz (first offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500
Less than 8 oz (subsequent offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (first offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (subsequent offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000
5 lbs or more (first offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000
5 lbs or more (subsequent offense) Felony 10 – 20 years $ 10,000
To a minor (first offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000
To a minor (subsequent offense) Felony 10 – 20 years $ 10,000
Within 1000 yards of a school or park Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000

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Cultivation

Growing fewer than 5 plants is a misdemeanor on a first offense and carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and $500 in fines. The same offense is a felony on a subsequent conviction and comes with a penalty of between 1 year in jail and 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

On a first offense, growing 5 or more plants is a felony and is punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 and a sentence of between 1 year in jail and 5 years in prison. On a subsequent offense, the same crime carries a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Less than 5 plants (first offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500
Less than 5 plants (subsequent offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
5 plants or more (first offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
5 plants or more (subsequent offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000

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Hash and Concentrates

Hashish and other cannabis concentrates are treated the same as traditional marijuana products under Kentucky law. Among other things, this means the weight limits are the same and the penalties are no greater than they otherwise would be.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

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Paraphernalia

Possession, use, sale, and advertising of marijuana paraphernalia are all class A misdemeanors in Kentucky, unless the paraphernalia is marketed, sold and used only for legal purposes. Paraphernalia includes all drug-related items, including those used in the cultivation, harvesting, processing, analysis, storage, inhaling, ingesting, or any other consumption of marijuana. Penalties include up to one year in jail and a maximum $500 fine.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Possession of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500

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Medical Marijuana

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Kentucky became the third state to legalize CBD oil in Apr, 2014, when the state decided to exempt industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, as well as to exept CBD if used “pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university.”

A 2017 bill further clarified that CBD products derived from industrial hemp are legal.

QUALIFYING CONDITIONS:
Intractable epilepsy

PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS:
Possession of CBD is only allowed by persons acting within a state-sponsored clinical protocol.

HOME CULTIVATION:
No

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES:
No

CAREGIVERS:
No

RECIPROCITY:
No

Marijuana Attorney Directory

Kentucky Marijuana Attorneys

The following Kentucky lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:

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